America’s top law enforcement agency mistakenly used a photo featuring a well-circulated internet meme of a large, nude man sitting on a bed in its criminal complaint against a suspect accused of rioting on Capitol Hill.
The FBI affidavit was filed this week against 33-year-old Massachusetts man Brian McCreary to support charges linked to the January 6 unrest in DC, accusing him of taking part in the riot and disrupting a session of Congress. On the document’s fourth page, however, one finds photographic ‘evidence’ to back up the case, including an image of a naked man sneakily photoshopped into a picture frame in the background.
The criminal complaint does not acknowledge the meme, apparently presenting the image as evidence in full sincerity.
I’ve studied extremism for 15 years, I’ve reviewed mostly every court record for decades. I can honestly say very little surprises me. That said, I have absolutely no idea what to say about the Internet image the FBI used in a criminal complaint of the picture hanging on the wall pic.twitter.com/nznszFmif7
— Seamus Hughes (@SeamusHughes) February 4, 2021
McCreary is seen in the photo wearing a blue surgical mask, directly to the left of the fur- and horn-wearing Jacob Chansley, perhaps better known as the “QAnon Shaman.” Like McCreary – who was arrested by the FBI on Thursday on five federal counts – Chansley has also been charged in connection to the riot.
The fully exposed man in the photo rose to prominence through internet memes and ‘bait-and-switch’ pranks after the image circulated on message boards as early as 2012, dubbed by netizens as ‘Wood Sitting On a Bed,’ or more directly, ‘Huge Penis Guy.’ The man behind the meme, Wardy Joubert III, passed away of a heart attack in 2016, according to Vice.
In reviewing its evidence – which Special Agent Emily Eckert says was provided by a co-worker of McCreary – the FBI apparently failed to notice a clear watermark on the image indicating it was created by somebody under the username “@BarryTributePage.” A search for the moniker immediately turns up a website offering curious merchandise themed around the nude meme man, including products named “The Sausage Apron” and “BobbleD*ck.”
To date, at least 193 federal cases have been filed across 41 states against people believed to have taken part in the January 6 riot, McCreary and Chansley among them, a tally by George Washington University’s ‘Extremism Program’ shows. Some 27 non-federal cases have also been brought.
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